Spain located on the Iberian Peninsula, has over 2.9 million acres planted—making it the most widely planted wine producing nation but it is the third largest producer of wine in the world, the largest being France followed by Italy. This is due, in part, to the very low yields and wide spacing of the old vines planted on the dry, infertile soil found in many Spanish wine regions. The country has an abundance of native grape varieties, with over 400 varieties planted throughout Spain though 80 percent of the country's wine production is from only 20 grapes—including the reds Tempranillo, Garnacha, and Monastrell; the whites Albariño from Galicia, Palomino, Airen, and Macabeo; and the three cava grapes Parellada, Xarel·lo, and Macabeo. Major Spanish wine regions include the Rioja and Ribera del Duero which are known for their Tempranillo production; Valdepeñas, drunk by Unamuno and Hemingway, known for high quality tempranillo at low prices; Jerez, the home of the fortified wine Sherry; Rías Baixas in the northwest region of Galicia that is known for its white wines made from Albariño and Catalonia which includes the Cava and still wine producing regions of the Penedès as well the Priorat region. Spanish wine laws created the Denominación de Origen (DO) system in 1932 and were later revised in 1970. The system shares many similarities with the hierarchical Appellation d'origine contrôlée (AOC) system of France, Portugal's Denominação de Origem Controlada (DOC) and Italy's Denominazione di origine controllata (DOC) system.
- Item #: i_381949Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 99WINE ADOVATE 99 POINTS - A blend of 85% Garnacha and 15% Syrah, 2018 Clos Erasmus comes from a year with good yields and enough rain for good ripeness of the grapes. The vines are now 36 years old on average, and the grapes fermented after a cold soak in 1,000-, 1,500- and 2,000-liter oak vats with indigenous yeasts and a five-week maceration. It matured in new and second use Burgundian 228-liter oak barrels, with around 40% new oak. This is a very elegant and perfumed vintage for Clos Erasmus, a wine that reveals a bright ruby color and a exotic nose that mixes flowers with tons of sweet spices. It is still very young and influenced by the élevage in oak, with something herbal and fresh, reminiscent of pine needles. The palate is textured and velvety, lace and dust, with fine-grained tannins that bring back the memories of the slate rocks; it is pure and detailed and has terrible balance, focus, inner strength, filigree and subdued minerality. I'd wait a little bit for the oak to get integrated before pulling the cork. It has the ingredients, stuffing and balance to develop nicely in bottle for a long time. 3,319 bottles and 100 magnums produced. It was bottled in May 2020."
In a region now filled with big names, Daphne Glorian has been a quiet godmother to the younger generations of winemakers, continuing to promote the good name of Priorat with her exceptional and highly sought-after wines. Her boutique estate of 10 hectares barely produces 140 cases each year, so her first label, Clos Erasmus, is inevitably scarce and expensive. Deservedly so, however, as this is one of the regions' and indeed Spain's greatest of all red wines – rich, powerful, dense and exotically perfumed. Clos Erasmus is also one of the few Spanish wines ever to achieve 100 Parker points, proof that the Priorat region in the right hands produces wines to rival the finest from Rioja and Ribera Del Duero.
- Item #: i_377064Bottle Size: 750mlThe 2018 release of Clio from Bodegas El Nido is here! We are huge fans of this winery and particular bottling, as our loyal readers may recall, and for good reason. Their track record is strong and they have done it once again-- this wine rocks!
The nose is filled with spicy red and blue fruits: savory peppered plums, raspberries and blueberries, earthy incense, kirsch liqueur and cola nut. Bright fruits with elements of earth and minerality.
The palate has a lovely mouthfeel/viscosity with the tastes reiterating the scents. Bright red and blue fruits with hints of spice and earth. The lush fruits are tempered and balanced by excellent structure: moderate tannins and acidity course throughout leading to an extended finish of blueberries, raspberries and cherries, bolstered by earthy elements. It’s hard to focus on one particular aspect of this wine as the parts are so synchronized to uplift the totality of the whole. It really is a choir of smells and tastes that blend and flow together so well. Harmony in the glass, for sure!
Balanced enough to enjoy solo, this will greatly elevate a number of foods to enjoy with it: rice, pasta, (noodles, spaghetti, macaroni), vegetables, mushroom, stewed meat, sausage, pork, roast meat, red and/or white meat with sauces, grilled meat, short or medium cheeses.
The 2018 Clio is a blend of 70% Monastrell and 30% Cabernet Sauvignon; the grapes for this wine are made from 30 acres of Cabernet Sauvignon vineyards and 79 acres of very old Monastrell, with a very low yield. The grapes are harvested with small baskets to prevent bruising. The bunches are brought to triage tables where the best ones are selected. It spends 24 months in French and American new oak barrels where it gets a very typical complexity.
And, of course, we must point out that this wine comes out of the Gil Famiy Estates portfolio; we carry many of their wines and, across-the-board, they express the glorious bounty that Spanish vintners have been and are currently creating. We must, therefore, also highlight the El Nido 2018 "El Nido" wine $119.98. For this wine they utilize 70% Cabernet Sauvignon and 30% Monastrell and it’s clearly the main thoroughbred in the Gil Family Estates stable of winners.
- Item #: i_381426Bottle Size: 750ml60% Monastrell, 30% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Syrah
We have developed quite the Pavlovian relationship with wines from Juan Gil and Gil Family Estates over the years; before we even get a chance to taste these wines, we tend to salivate in anticipation of the great tasting experience ahead. Why is that? Simply put, their track record here in the store, with our valued clientele and staff, is excellent, as are their wines. From their entry-level bargains on the ramp to their more advanced selections in the cellar, we have found their portfolio to be consistent in both how good the wines are to drink and the quality-to-price ratio: lots of bang for the buck with these bottlings! The 2017 "Blue Label" fits right in with our expectations and we are, once again, overjoyed to share how great this juice is!
A blend of 60% Monastrell (also known as Mourvedre), 30% Cabernet Sauvignon and 10% Syrah, the nose is filled with scents of fresh berries, cedar, incense, wet clay and notes of hillside garrique. Upon tasting, the sweet fruits make their presence known, displaying flavors of mixed strawberries, cherries and boysenberries that are grounded with big firm tannins and grippy acidity. A big, beautiful wine with tons of fruit balanced by savory notes and magnificent structure. A final nosing (so sexy!) brings further hints of pie crust, graham cracker and rose garden. We love it! Enjoy with ribs, lamb, burgers, tapas, hard cheese, meat pizza, mushroom dishes, sausages (great red for summer grilling)!
- Item #: i_382509Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 91From the maker of El Nido and Clio we present a 91-point, vegan, dry-farmed wine from one of our favorite Spanish producers, Juan Gil! We have long championed the wines of Juan Gil because they consistently offer top quality bottlings for reasonable prices. This red blend continues their hit streak, once again, and captured February’s "Wine of the Month" crown after it vanquished some 25 other samples we evaluated. Noting that this is the inaugural release of this wine for the US market, we believe it’s just the beginning of a beautiful friendship...
A blend of 45% Monastrell (Mourvédre), 45% Cabernet Sauvignon and 10% Syrah, the nose on this one is quite fascinating: fresh fruit notes of strawberry and blackberry lead to deeper tones of spice, tea and mixed herbals. A beautiful violet and lavender component is evident upon nosing but really shines when tasting-- the florals seem to evaporate and burst in the olfactory while sipping. And the forward fruits take the lead upon tasting: plum, raspberries and mixed red fruits with a strong kirsch hint on the finish. Excellent acidity completely balances the ripe fruit making for a harmonious glass-- it’s perfectly delicious on its own but is a great food wine, as well (think hearty, meaty dishes, from hamburgers and pizza to short ribs, veal, pork, lamb, sausage, game and other meats, especially grilled meats-- winter fare!).
The origins of Bodegas Juan Gil date from 1916 when Juan Gil Gimènez, great grandfather of the present generation, began getting involved in the world of wines and built a winery in the heart of Jumilla, Spain. His son, Juan Gil Guerrero, dedicated his entire life to the wine business, however, it was the third generation who really consolidated the winery. Juan Gil Gonzalez, together with his brother Paco, the founder’s grandsons, forged an image of quality, reliability and efficiency. The present Gil generation continually strive to maintain and improve the Juan Gil standard, which is evident through the remarkable wines they produce.
WINE ADVOCATE 91 POINTS - "Produced for the US market, this is the first vintage of the 2018 Juan Gil Red Blend. It is 45% Monastrell, 45% Cabernet Sauvignon and 10% Syrah from a year more in line with 2016, more continental and with more rain, despite which, the wine is still 15% alcohol. The different grapes fermented and matured separately for 12 months. It's ripe and has notes of chocolate and spices, keeping some herbal undertones and with the tasty and pungent notes from the Cabernet. 54,000 bottles produced. This wine is sold exclusively in the US. It was bottled in June 2020."